Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Addams Family Fisher Price Little People

I must confess, I haven't ever seen much of the Addams Family television series. I first saw them on the "New Scooby-Doo Movies"...a series of hour-long Scooby-Doo episodes that had the Scooby gang solving crimes alongside media superstars like Don Knotts and Sandy Duncan. I guess the Addams Family gets haunted now and then too.

What made me really love the Addams Family was the movies starring the late Raul Julia and Angelica Huston. Macabre, morbid, but with a biting wit that I enjoyed. So I made a few Fisher Price Little People. And I know Fisher Price will never really make a set, but wow, it'd be a great playset. The mansion, with a cute little graveyard out back, a booming doorbell, some torture devices in the'd be the sweetest thing ever.

Until the Rocky Horror Picture Show playset came out. THAT would be amazing.

Pugsley, Wednesday, Lurch, Uncle Fester, Thing, Gomez, Morticia, and Cousin It.

Monday, January 25, 2010


When the second X-Men movie came out, I was loving Marvel's misbegotten mutants. I liked the actors, the characterization, the story and the designs for the movie. Not knowing that later X-3 would come along and screw everything up, I decided to make some LEGO toys that celebrated this great new (to me) bunch of superheroes. Most of my custom-made toys are part of the DC Comics universe (Superman, Batman, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman etc.), but I figured I could spare a handful of LEGO dudes to make some muties.

A rare "behind the scenes" design sketch for the X-Men LEGO...

As I recall, at the time I didn't have a digital camera, so these pictures didn't turn out great. But they were good enough to get the collection sold on eBay when X-3 came out and I turned my back on the X-Men universe. Was that a mistake? Probably. But it was for something responsible, like diapers or medicine for a dying relative or more toys for myself. Something like that. Anyway, enjoy this look at X-Men LEGO.



Jean Grey

Nightcrawler --love how he turned out. His tail is just a "twistie" that's been stripped down and then painted...his awesomeness surprised even me.

Wolverine (with his shirt on, much to my wife's dismay)



Professor Charles Xavier

The X-Men Team (without the kids)
Oh yeah, the kids.

Magneto and Mystique

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Muppet Octopus

The Muppets have used octopus characters several times in their productions, dating all the way back to The Ed Sullivan Show. In fact, they've done at least three different versions of the Beatles' Octopus Garden, on Ed Sullivan, Sesame Street, and The Muppet Show. A Muppet Octopus or three also featured prominently in the James Coburn episode of The Muppet Show, so I figured that I might want to try my hand at making one from scratch to go with my Muppet action figures from Palisades Toys.

The process was relatively simple, because I was just making an octopus statue out of Sculpey polymer clay. You basically roll eight clay snakes, smush them together, paint it, and you get this:

Muppet Octopus: front view

Muppet Octopus: top view

Muppet Octopus: rear view

Muppet Octopus with Kermit the Frog, Gonzo, and Rizzo the Rat for scale.

I like how he turned out, but because he's made of baked clay and he's very tentacley, I'm sure he's going to smash into a million pieces one of these days. I haven't made very many of these "from scratch," and that's the biggest reason why. That and I need some sculpting lessons.

Anyway. Muppet Octopus. Who knew?

Saturday, January 16, 2010

E.T. Fisher Price Little People

This was one of the easiest little sets of Fisher Price Little People to make, partially because I figured you really only need two characters to tell the whole story. I wasn't going to make a little Drew Barrymore or anyone else for the set--I figured E.T. and Elliot pretty much do the job by themselves.

E.T. ended up being one of the Little People that I had to completely get rid of the head and start from scratch. So I gave him a squished Sculpey head that looked E.T.-ish enough. I tried to simulate his glowing "heart" with some pink and white paint. Elliot just ended up being a kid in a hoodie, so I hope no one was expecting something more than that. Now I just need a stupid little pot of geraniums, and they'll be good to go: a boy and his alien. It doesn't get sweeter than that.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Superman Family LEGO

When LEGO started making Batman minifigures, vehicles and playsets a few years ago, I was hoping that it was just the beginning of a broader move into DC Comics' roster of characters. Like they'd start with Batman, move on to Superman, expand to the Justice League and Teen Titans...but alas, it was not to be. Last year marked the end of Batman LEGO sets for the time being, and it looks like they're not adding any other DC Comics characters anytime soon. So I had to do it for them.

I made Superman and about seven other Justice Leaguers all at the same time, and thought I'd be content with a little set of SuperFriends. But for some reason I'm missing the part of the emotion chip in my brain that says "it's okay to stop now," and I decided to keep going.

Not a bird or a plane.

For the record, I am more of a Batman fan than a Superman fan, but once I made the Man of Steel himself, I realized that sometimes he needed a little help from his own Superman Family. It includes his cousin Supergirl, his clone (sort of--that's up in the air right now) Superboy, his friend (please-don't-ever-watch-the-movie-with-Shaq) Steel, and Steel's niece and part-time superhero Natasha Irons. Oh yeah, and Superman's best friend, Krypto the Superdog. You've gotta have the Superdog.

Krypto, Superman, Supergirl, Superboy, Steel, Natasha Irons

In my LEGO dreams (which I do have, from time to time), they would have made things like a Fortress of Solitude playset, a Kent Farm, a Daily Planet Building, Lex Luthor's Lair...but instead, they pulled the plug. When I finish going completely insane, I'll have my revenge. Oh, yes. I'll have my sweet revenge.
Or I'll just make some more toys.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Muppet Mermaid Miss Piggy

Just a quick one for today. I've been known to have an unnatural love for the Pig, so you'll end up seeing her butchered and reassembled in many ways on this blog. Miss Piggy has appeared as a mermaid at least once on The Muppet Show, in the episode with Mac Davis.

I think I made this version of Miss Piggy as a Mermaid before I saw that episode, so I just went with what worked for her. It turns out "what worked" was severing one leg, entombing the other one in a tail and fins made of Sculpey, and then layering iridescent wrapping paper over her tail for scales. Her gloves (gotta wear the gloves)(are there hooves under there?)(are these prostheses?) and tank toppy thing have swirls of blue and silver on them. For a swimming swing, she came out okay.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Gilligan's Island Fisher Price Little People

Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale, a tale of a fateful trip...
I won't sing the whole song for you. But I could. I have. Even the closing credits "No phone! No lights! No motorcar, not a single luxury..." song. Ah, Gilligan's Island. Such a silly show, but one that's been a favorite of mine for decades. My first exposure to coconuts, to voodoo dolls, to Shakespeare, and World War II. I love Gilligan's Island. They were among the first sets of Fisher Price Little People I cobbled together, because, as with Scooby-Doo and some of the others, most of the people stranded on the island wore the same clothes every week. Sure, the Howells had all of their luggage, but Gilligan, the Skipper and Professor all had their same duds in every episode. I can only hope the Professor also built a laundromat out of coconuts to keep them staying fresh.
After I made these and they were on my first website (, Bob Denver's wife Dreama (her real name) came across them and e-mailed me, telling me she loved them, and that she was happy that Bob (Gilligan himself) had seen them too. So that was a small moment of greatness for me and my dumb little hobby. Gilligan giving you a compliment through his wife, sent through an e-mail a decade ago doesn't happen every day. Usually. Making these, I had some firsts, so some of them are more experimental than really polished. Things like giving the Skipper a paunch, which takes him out of the strict Fisher Price Little People mold, but I felt was essential to the character. I remember thinking that I wanted to find a small boat that I could blow a hole in the side of like the S.S. Minnow, but I never quite got around to it. That's fine. We all know they're stuck on the island. We don't need the wreckage to remind us.

Gilligan, The Skipper (Jonas Grumby) too.

The Millionaire (Thurston Howell III) and his Wife (Lovey Howell).

The Movie Star (Ginger Grant)

The Professor (Roy Hinkley) and Mary Ann (Summers)

Here on Gilligan's Isle!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Green Lantern LEGO

Green Lantern has been one of my favorite superheroes since the days of SuperFriends back in the 1970's. The idea of a space cop who has a "magic ring" that can make anything he can conjure up in his imagination was exciting for me then and now. Over the years, the different stories and different versions of Green Lantern have all had their merits, and it seems like no matter what else is going on in the DC Universe, I've liked what was happening with Green Lantern.

Because the Green Lantern Corps isn't a single superhero, but a galactic police force, there have been a lot of Green Lanterns in the comic books and even on various television series. If you ask me who "Green Lantern" is, I'd say Hal Jordan. He was the one on Superfriends, and for several decades was really The Green Lantern. Asking my students at school, they'd say it's John Stewart, the African American GL who wore the ring on the recent Justice League cartoon. Someone a little older might say it's Kyle Rayner, who was GL for most of the 1990s, and if you asked someone who was an arrogant jerk (besides me, I mean) they'd say Guy Gardner. He's a jerk. And yet, he's still a Green Lantern.

Hal Jordan, John Stewart, Guy Gardner, and Kyle Rayner

When I took my break from making custom-made Fisher Price Little People, I still managed to move on to a new (and yet old) obsession, and that's making new LEGO Minifigures. Most of them come from DC Comics, and the Green Lantern Corps is no exception. Over recent years, many of these characters have undergone radical changes, so this is sort of a "best of" Green Lantern Corps.

This is my first version, before I added the ladies of the GLC; to Earth's GLs I added Kilowog (far left) a trainer in the Green Lantern Corps and one of my favorite comic book characters, period. Next to him is Tomar Re, one of the first alien Green Lanterns that Hal Jordan worked with. Front and center is Ganthet, a "Guardian" who bosses the Green Lanterns around.

This is my current Green Lantern Corps. With all of the changes in the comic books happening right now, I'll have to add to their ranks. I decided that the ladies of DC Comics needed to be better represented, so I added Arisia, an elf-like GL who's also cute as the day is long; Katma Tui, pink-skinned former lover of John Stewart and completely awesome in her own right; and Jade, daughter of the Golden Age Green Lantern, and very short-lived Green Lantern herself.
Will there be more? You bet. Will I also make the Red, Orange, Yellow, Blue, Indigo, Violet and Black Lanterns? Uh...I need more LEGO.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Scooby-Doo Fisher Price Little People

Growing up, Scooby-Doo was one of my favorite cartoons. The original Scooby still is. Everything up until Scrappy-Doo came along was great. And really, even Scrappy was okay, it was just that he gave Fred, Daphne and Velma the boot so what had been Mystery, Inc. became Shaggy and two dogs. Which isn't nearly as entertaining. Or smart. Or scary.

I like the classic Scooby-Doo with the Mystery Machine and the Scooby Snax and even the random guest appearance by Sandy Duncan or Don Knotts or Mama Cass. Because who knows when you'll run into Mama Cass, right? Well, not now. But in the seventies, sure. And if she's running a haunted candy factory, all the better.

This set of Little People is just the five main characters as seen in the original Scooby-Doo series. Later on I'll show you some classic Scooby Villains I've made. Scrappy won't be among them.

Norville "Shaggy" Rogers and Scooby-Doo

Daphne Blake, Freddy Jones, and Velma Dinkley

The Mystery Machine--one of only two Fisher Price Little People vehicles I've customized from existing Fisher Price toys. The other one is the Batmobile. Personally, I think this ride is sweeter.

The whole Mystery Inc. gang. They're not like, a street gang. They used to the term "gang" more innocently back then. It was the seventies. A bunch of teenagers and a dog in a psychedelically-painted van wouldn't have caused any trouble in suburbia, right?

On their way to their next mystery...just waiting for the Mystery Machine to get a flat tire, run out of gas, or turn the wrong way down a Dead End. Zoinks!

December Poll Results!

The first ever Quinnarama poll was a close one--for most of the month it was a three-way tie for who would become the next Fisher Price Little People. I liked all five of the choices for various reasons, but it looks like comedy won out over vampires and music and frakability and more vampires.

The winner is The Office! So you can expect to see those peeps as Little Peeps in about a month or so, depending on how quickly I scrounge up some new Fisher Price Little People. I haven't made any new Little People in about seven years, so I'm a little out of practice. But they'll be coming soon. -ish.

Here are the numbers for the last poll:

The Office 29%

Buffy the Vampire Slayer 28% (1 vote!)

The Beatles 23%

Battlestar Galactica 8%

Twilight 8%

Like I said, I do like all of those options, so I can see them being shuffled back into future polls. The poll for January has five options too, and chances are you'll like at least one of them. So be sure to vote, and tell friends to vote too. I don't know why you would, but it's all for a good cause. Mindless entertainment.